Saranac River to Moose Pond Footbridge

The lowdown

The Saranac River is a beautiful meandering river. You will see views of the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness with Whiteface Mountain in the distance.  There are great opportunities for observing wildlife including beavers, mink, otters, finch, moose (rare), Canada geese, osprey, red-winged blackbirds, broad-winged hawks, robins, muskrats, swallows, eagles, great blue herons, black ducks, and mergansers. Along the river you will pass by maple, ash, tamaracks, spruce, pine, and birch trees. The hike to Moose Pond is an easy 1.3 miles each way on a flat, well-worn trail. You hike through a conifer forest of pine, spruce, and hemlock trees. Moose Pond has large rock formations that offer wonderful places to picnic or swim. 

Fact check

  • Total Distance: 5 miles one way
  • Length of Time: 2-3 hours
  • Hike: 2.6 miles round trip
  • Moving water with an easy class I rapid
  • One-way paddle with two-way hike
  • No motorboat access allowed for this section of the river

Logistics

  • Parking is available at the Dorsey Street Village Parking lot. You will need to drop your car off at the Moose Pond footbridge parking lot (very limited parking) or arrange for someone to pick you up at the take out. Note that St. Regis Canoe Outfitters offers day packages for transportation/shuttles.
  • Put-in at the park on the corner of Pine Street and Bloomingdale Ave. If you are arranging transportation/boat rentals with St. Regis Canoe Outfitters then you can put-in at their boat launch on Dorsey Street. The optional hike to Moose Pond starts at the Moose Pond footbridge, where the paddle trip ends.

The paddle

If you are putting in at the St. Regis Canoe Outfitters boat launch, the trip begins with an easy class I rapid as you pass under the Broadway Bridge.  You will pass through downtown Saranac Lake for a short distance before getting out into nature. 

Paddle north on the Saranac River as it meanders around curves. Allow yourself to glide along at times, taking in the views and the sounds of nature. The river widens and then narrows as you come to the take out at the Moose Pond footbridge. The hike into Moose Pond is 1.3 miles each way. When you reach Moose Pond you will come out onto a large rock face with a beautiful view of the pond.  

Recommended resource: Adirondack Paddler’s Map North

On The Map

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Saranac Lake, 12983
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